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Breast cancer in images

Breast disorders
While breast cancer can affect both men and women, nurses are most likely to encounter a woman presenting symptoms. Dr Jean Watkins discusses presentations of female cancers that might arise.

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Inverted nipple

Between 1990 and 2000, the mortality of women diagnosed with breast cancer between the ages of 30 to 79, fell by 24% and by 2007, for all women between 15 and 99, survival was 98.8% at one year, 85.1% at five years and 77% at 10 years. Better results are not only due to the possibilities of more effective treatment but also the fact that the condition is being recognized at an earlier stage. Women should be advised to regularly check their breasts, become familiar with their normal appearance, be taught what to look for and to quickly report any suspicious changes. An inverted nipple may be a sign of Paget's disease of the nipple and an underlying carcinoma of the breast. Some will have a long standing inverted nipple, possibly since birth, for others it may follow trauma or breast infections, which may be of no significance, except sometimes problems with breast feeding. The main concern is that recent changes could imply an underlying malignancy. In this case the patient should be urgently referred to a breast clinic for full examination, investigations and assessment.

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